article is taken from the book SharePoint 2010
Web Parts in Action. The author shows
you different ways to query a standard Tasks list for all items that have the
status set to Completed.
off any version of SharePoint 2010 Web Parts in
Action with the checkout code dnspark40. Offer is only valid through
The first thing the users of SharePoint 2010 will notice, if
they have worked with SharePoint before, is the new interface. Menus have
drastically changed and moved around. They have a more modern design, but it
will not take long before the users find themselves at home again. SharePoint
hides a lot of information and functionality to avoid cluttering the interface
and only shows it when you move the mouse over it or when you need it. For
example, the Web Part options menu is only visible when your mouse cursor is
over the Web Part.
SharePoint has several new and improved features, including the
Ribbon, famous from Microsoft Office 2007, and AJAX dialogs and notifications.
These components, which we are going to review in this article, make SharePoint
more usable and efficient to work with. It also gives us, developers, a whole
new way to interact with the users of our Web Parts.
If you are upgrading or have updated your SharePoint 2010 site
from SharePoint 2007, you will notice that the SharePoint 2007 interface is
still there. This is because of the new enhancements in the SharePoint upgrade
procedure that uses the backward-compatible master pages. At any time, you can
switch over to the new 2010 interface, temporarily or permanently, using the
Visual Upgrade option under Site Settings.
The new SharePoint user interface and the Ribbon
Microsoft Office 2007 introduced a revolutionary and innovative
interface using a completely rebuilt menu and toolbar system, including the now
well-known Ribbon interface, shown in Figure 1. The Ribbon is the new combined
menu and toolbar and it is based on the users' current context. For example, if
the user is editing a table, then the table editing commands appear. This
contextually aware interface has now made it into SharePoint 2010, which is one
of the most significant changes for the end-users.
Figure 1 SharePoint now includes The Ribbon toolbar, introduced in
Office 2007. The Ribbon is contextually aware and changes its contents depending
on what the user is trying to do. When the user, for instance, selects a Web
Part the necessary tabs for editing Web Parts appears.
The Ribbon consists of a number of Tabs that are divided into
sections containing controls. These Tabs can be contextually aware and appear
when needed. For example, when editing a page, the Editing Tools Tab Set
appears, containing the Format Text and Insert tab. And, when a Web Part is
selected, the Web Part Tools set with the Options Tab becomes available. The
tabs and sections are dynamically loaded without any post-backs and screen
refreshes, which makes the interface easy and productive to use. Even a Web Part
like the SharePoint Server Media Web Part can have its own Ribbon controls.
The whole Ribbon experience is extensible in the way that you
can add and remove tabs, sections, groups, and controls to make a great end-user
SharePoint has borrowed other features from the Microsoft
Office user interface such as Live Previews and Galleries. Live Previews make
the editing process faster and allow you to live preview your design changes
without saving the information.
Other interface improvements
The Ribbon is not the only interface improvement in SharePoint
2010. SharePoint is using AJAX-based dialogs and notifications as well as other
SharePoint extensively uses the new AJAX-based Dialog Framework
to avoid post-backs and make the web interface faster and more accessible. The
instead of popup windows and redirecting the user to new pages. This is used,
for instance, when you click to edit an item in a list. Instead of going to a
new page, which you did in SharePoint 2007, you are now presented with an
in-browser overlay popup window.
Another dynamic interface feature is the status bar, located
under the Ribbon and the notification messages. The status bar gives status
messages to the user and the possibility to take some action without
interrupting the work. The status bar can give information about configuration
errors or that there are actions that need to be taken care of. For example, the
status bar is used when you have a save conflict on a Web Part page. In Central
Administration, this status bar is used to notify the administrators if the
Health Analyzer has detected any issues, as seen in Figure 2.
Figure 2 The Central Administration in SharePoint contains a
Health Analyzer, which analyzes the current state of the farm. If any critical
errors are found, the Health Analyzer uses the status bar to notify the
Notification messages are small messages that appear below the
ribbon on the right-hand side when, for instance, a page is loading or saving.
This completes our discussion of SharePoint 2010 features.
In this article, I displayed the SharePoint 2010 interface and discussed how
the new version improves the user experience through Ribbon, familiar from
Office 2007, and other features. The new interface shrinks the learning curve by
retaining the Office 2007 interface.